2021-01/ed-watson

Ed Watson is no stranger to the West Midlands having worked on thought leadership around the future of high streets and town centres with Solihull based Arup and as part of the West Midlands Combined Authority’s Town Centre Task Force.

Ed Watson, Interim Chief Executive at GBSLEP said,

“I am really excited to be joining the GBSLEP at this critical time (keeping the seat warm for Katie). There is an incredible energy around the region, and I am really keen to get working with private, public and academic partners to drive the growth programme forward.

“GBSLEP has been playing a pivotal role during the current Covid-19 crisis and at the same time it has continued to deliver against its plans via the Local Growth Fund, Growth Hub, the Getting Building Fund and much more. I am looking forward to working with the LEP Board and Executive Team to ensure we can continue to create a sustainable and inclusive economy as we look to the future”.

Ed Watson has spent most of his career in Local Government and is now Director of consultancy EW&A which provides strategic planning, place and political advice to a range of public and private sector clients.   

He was integral in the reinvention of Kings Cross in London where he worked closely with Argent to deliver homes, jobs and infrastructure culminating in the investment of £1billion by Google in new offices and securing the arrival of The Crick. The Euston Strategic Board was set up by Ed Watson and he has also been at the helm of the high-profile West End Partnership working with businesses, communities and the Mayor of London.

Commenting on the new appointment Chair of GBSLEP, Tim Pile said,

“I very much welcome Ed to the team, and the Board Directors and I are looking forward to working with him”. 

“In the wake of Covid-19 we have been working hard to help SMEs build upon their resilience by creating business led interventions. At the same time, we have continued to deliver our growth programme to ensure opportunities for economic recovery are in place as we emerge from this devastating pandemic.

“Ed brings a wealth of experience with him through his work in the public sector, with communities and businesses nationally. This approach aligns with the LEP’s partnership approach which enables us to create joined-up, targeted and intelligence led solutions and investments to achieve our ambition of inclusive and sustainable economic growth.”